All posts by trav

At the heart of it all, I’m a fan. A fan of books and bookstores. A fan of fiction and non-fiction. A fan of authors and publishers. And most of all I’m a fan of great conversations sparked by books. All that to say - I really need more bookshelves.

Online Book Festivals 2020

Summer is here and nothing can stop the book people! At least that’s how I am choosing to see this period of “safe at home” while all of the annual in-person book festivals and events go online.

And I have to admit that I am kind of enjoying the chance to lurk and click and enjoy some spaces and places that I don’t normally go to. This coming week is a BIG one for book festivals. Here is a quick rundown:

BookExpo 2020

This one runs May 26-29 and features more education and librarian support than I remember. Which I take to be a good thing as sometimes the marketing and fluff of BookExpo can be tough to push through and get to the meaty parts.

It looks like all of the author talks and panel discussions will be held on their Facebook page. So keep an eye on that. Here’s the rundown for Day One of the book festival:

BookExpo  book festival

Hay Festival 2020

The Hay Festival, runs May 22-31, and remains one of the best book festivals in the world. This year’s main program has a wonderful outlook and the quality of presentations are amazing. The event is held every year in Hay on Wye in Wales. Hay one Wye is a small town put is brimming with around 25 bookstores, which are packed during the event. I have never been, but I follow it every year and this year seems to be a great year to armchair-travel to Wales for the event as the Hay Festival has a great line up of folks. I’m most interested in the authors speaking under the Philosophy banner and I really enjoyed what Tori Amos had to say. It’s free, but you do have to register, as you can watch things that you have missed.

Hay book festival

TorCon 2020

TorCon is new to book festival circuit. It will run June 11-14 and will feature 8 panels, 20+ authors across Facebook, instagram, etc. They have some pretty recognizable names: Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, V.E. Schwab, and so on. Here’s the schedule so far. If science fiction is your jam, I’d recommend signing up so you can get a final copy of the schedule sent to you.

Tor book festival

Hope you’re doing well and are safe and surrounded by some good books.

WEEK FIVE: My NonFiction November 2019 WRAP

Ok, so this post is obviously really late, but sickness and life got in the way (as they do) and I totally missed posting my Week 5 Recap for Nonfiction November last year (here is my Week 4, Week 3, and Week 2 contributions). But I did want to get this out there as these books (and even some new-to-me bloggers) are still tops on my “to buy and to-be-read” list. I plan on starting Gretchen McCulloch’s book this weekend.

So firing up the old blogging way back time machine. . . going back in 3. . . 2. . . 1. . .

The guiding post from the discussion’s host (Nov. 25 to 29):

“Rennie from What’s Nonfiction is here for a second year – New to My TBR : It’s been a month full of amazing nonfiction books! Which ones have made it onto your TBR? Be sure to link back to the original blogger who posted about that book!”

By far the one book I saw on sooooo many lists this year was Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. It’s one I’ve seen in bookstores (I mean how can you forget that cover), but never picked up. Just based on the frequency it was mentioned, it’s going in the pile. I mean you can’t get this many book bloggers on a Mr. Linky and be lead astray can you?

Moving on, these are the other books that piqued my interest over the past few weeks. I am looking forward to working though this list:

Thanks to all the bloggers that participated in Nonfiction November in 2019. It really is a highlight every year. Such a diverse and cool group of book bloggers talking about topics and books from all over the world. I hope you found some good reads for yourself this November.

Two Documentary Films for Bookish Folks

Here are two documentary films that I’m excited about and I am guessing, if you’re reading this blog, you’ll probably be interested too.

The first film is called The Bookmakers and runs about an hour. It features all kinds of folks that are working to keep books viable in this day and age. There are interviews with type setters and old world book artists as well as digital librarians and font folks. The trailer hooks me early! I hear that The Bookmakers documentary has been delayed due to all of the “stay home” stuff going on these days. I’m excited for this one to be out – eventually. Here’s the trailer:

A co-worker mentioned The Booksellers documentary to me the other day and I just love the visuals in the trailer. It was released back on April 17th via special streaming screenings online. Which is all very cool and handy these days. You can scroll through the film’s twitter feed and find a place to watch it. It looks like it’s running about $10 to stream it. This film has to be good. There are some pretty big names from both the bookstore and book trade worlds in The Booksellers. I’m hoping to find some time this weekend to watch.

It doesn’t hurt to mix in a little screen time with reading, does it? I hope you all are tucked away, feeling well and have plenty of books surrounding you. And I hope you get a chance to see these two films too!

Scout & Morgan Bookstore – Cambridge, MN

Scout & Morgan Books is one of those super fantastic stores that reflects its region and it is one of my top ten favorite bookstores in the country. I’m not the only one who thinks highly of Scout & Morgan. They won the 2019 Bookseller of the Year Award from the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association. The MIBA’s write up of the shop and staff is great. And once you read a description like this. . .

Scout & Morgan has an elegant, welcoming atmosphere, with the latest books stocked alongside used and fine antiquarian books, a fireplace, and comfortable chairs for reading.

. . . how can you not want to go? It kind of checks all of the boxes, doesn’t it?

Located about an hour north of Minneapolis, Scout & Morgan has carved out a wonderful place that’s worth stopping for, if you ever find yourself up there.

Whenever I’ve visited they’ve always been super nice and friendly and certainly know their stock. They have a well curated selection of new books as well as shelves full of used books. The used books aren’t your “bent corner” variety either. They look great and are fun to peruse. And the used book prices are better than fair.

They have plenty of local books and being in Minnesota they are tied into the state’s rich literary culture. The Books About Books section at Scout & Morgan is a must. It’s a full bookcase and is mostly used books so you never know what you’ll find. Looking straight through, from the front door. and you’ll see a back wall FULL of fiction. It’s shelves and shelves of new, used, cheap, not-as-cheap, and a blast to shop.

Anyway, I hope you are doing well this week and that we all get to go out and visit our favorite bookstores again soon. Looking through bookstore photos helps some, but I’m ready to get back out there!

Here are some photos from one of my visits: